Iconic lo­cal art com­ing home

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

TWO orig­i­nal works de­pict­ing im­ages of Dou­glas by in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned artists Rus­sell Drys­dale and Don­ald Friend are ven­tur­ing north for the Cairns Re­gional Gallery Foun­da­tion’s an­nual fundrais­ing din­ner.

The 1952 Road to Black Moun­tains by Drys­dale and the 1948 Don­ald Friend clas­sic Street in Port Dou­glas cur­rently re­side in Bris­bane but will be on dis­play in Cairns dur­ing the din­ner.

It is the hope of the Foun­da­tion to raise enough money to ac­quire th­ese pieces, worth $17,500 and $9000 re­spec­tively, to keep them in the re­gion where they orig­i­nated.

Guest speaker at the din­ner will be Dr Vaughan Rees, the as­so­ci­ate dean of the Fac­ulty of Fine Arts at UNSW who has a rich his­tory in the re­gion and will pro­vide an aca­demic insight into the sig­nif­i­cance of adding th­ese two works to the gallery’s col­lec­tion.

‘‘ The rea­son why Rus­sell Drys­dale was able to be­come an artist is be­cause his fam­ily had in­vest­ment in the North Queens­land su­gar in­dus­try. The prof­its made by su­gar cane al­lowed him to cel­e­brate land­scapes,’’ Dr Rees said.

‘‘The best part about Drys­dale go­ing into places like North Queens­land, he drew the places, peo­ple, sit­u­a­tions and out­back rather than Mel­bourne, Can­berra or Syd­ney. He went in, cap­tured and cel­e­brated the or­di­nar­i­ness, like the Road to Black Moun­tain.

‘‘ Friend is the quin­tes­sen­tial drawer. His draw­ings catch the char­ac­ter or place. Street in Port Dou­glas seems like my own mem­ory of Port Dou­glas, with the lit­tle cafes and fa­mous peo­ple sit­ting at the next ta­ble in shorts and thongs too - it was a great lev­el­ling ef­fect.’’

Dr Rees said he will be delv­ing into the his­tory, cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance

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